I’ve been sharing a lot on Instagram about the importance of voting, and I’ve been posting about it here, too – but I wanted to talk a little bit more about the specifics. I want to talk about who I’m voting for, and about the why.
I saw the hashtag #ImVotingFor on Instagram – prompting you to talk about not only which candidate you’re voting for, but about who you have in mind when you’re casting your vote. Are you voting for your retired parents with health conditions, for your young child, for your unemployed friend?
If you’ve read any of my posts, I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But when I’m voting, I’m not voting just for myself – I’m voting for each and every member of the disabled community. I’m thinking about healthcare, about employment, about housing, about long-term care, about transportation, about income and salaries. It’s all of these issues and more that affect my day-to-day life, and the lives of so many others with disabilities, in a very specific way.
The Biden campaign is the first time that I feel like my identity as a disabled woman is recognized as important. We’re officially recognized as a group – the “Team Joe Disability Coalition, there’s a page on his website specifically addressing his disability policy plans, and there have been so many excellent Disability Coalition virtual events. His team has engaged a number of disability advocates, and it’s clear that he’s listened and learned and really wants to make changes that will positively impact the disability community.
Disability issues go beyond just access to healthcare (although, of course, that’s important too). During a time right now where I keep hearing over and over that people with disabilities and other health conditions should “just stay home” during the pandemic so that the world can get back to “normal,” seeing that Biden specifically lists supporting people with disabilities during with COVID-19 pandemic as a key policy issue is so, so important to me. It’s recognizing the specific needs that people with disabilities have – during a pandemic or not – and addressing them.
So when I cast my vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I’m thinking about who will best protect and promote the rights of the disabled community. And when you make your list about the people in your life that you’re voting for, I hope that you think of me and the disability community too.